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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Trying to sort out best suspension and brake options for my “new” 1985 FXRS. Bought recently and do not know much of history. Seems like so many opinions out there. I like sport riding and to lean it hard. It handles well with Koni rear 10inch and stock FXRS (-2” from stock FXR) front fork tubes but I MUST lower the floorboards (6’3”) and can’t afford to lose clearance. I would like to raise for clearance a couple inches. Recommendations on rears? Maybe 13 inch? Are the Öhlins or other $800+ shocks worth it or are Progressive’s 412 adequate?. Do I add 2 inch to fronts or more with higher back end? I have had some folks recommend Gigacycles inverted or 2006+ Dyna front end but is that really worth it? The stock is 35mm but with fork brace no apparent flex or wiggle. The Gigacycles are way expensive.

Brake set up is single disc 11.5 inch front with single piston stock caliper. One option is single 13” disc and PM 6 piston caliper. Other option is new lowers to get brackets on both sides and do a dual front setup with cheaper stock calipers. I am 215 pounds and hard braking at highway speeds sucks as is.

All suggestions welcomed.
 

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I have an '85 FXRS (The Moonraker) I've been riding for 35 yrs. Bought her brand new and never found another bike I wanted to have more than this one, so I've just kept her. Can't say that about the women in my life. Your biggest challenge will most likely be finding parts.
Coupla thoughts, based upon experience:
On the front end, Stock twin front brakes are superior to a single PM. The PM products are fine. I have a PM rear brake on The Moonraker now. It's fine. nothing spectacular...just fine.
Rear shocks:
I had a bad experience with Progressive 412's. Couple years ago, I went to Destination Daytona with an idea to shop for new shocks. The 412's that were on my bike a that time were less than 2 yrs old. I wound up going home with a new pair of Pro-Action shocks on the bike. LOVE'EM. Yup...they're in that $800.00 class but I find them to be a HUGE improvement over the Progressives.
I also replaced my last front motor mount with one of the SS mesh versions from Kinetic Structures.
Hope this helps.
 

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There's a lot of options, at a lot of price points. If you like leaning the bike AND need to lower the floor boards you at least need to change the fork tubes to +2'' and 13.5'' shocks, which is what came with the performance option (and dual discs) in '85. You can go with even longer tubes and 14''-15'' shocks. New fork springs or Race Tech Gold Valves in addition.

I'm running an 2001 FXDX adjustable cartridge fork with dual 4 piston HD calipers, braided lines, very happy with it. The forks were the best suspension upgrade I've ever done. You'd need triple trees (39mm) and will have to fab a fork stop.

My buddy upgraded brakes and suspension his '05 Dyna 2 years ago. FXDX forks, dual touring Brembos, 11.8'' rotors, braided brake lines, larger MC, Öhlins rear shocks built for his weight/riding. His brakes are definitely better than mine. The shocks are a bit firm solo, but plush and controlled with a passenger. The bike's handling drastically improved, about $2000, brakes were used.

I had a pair of Progressive 412's, I hated them, harsh, even 2 up, my girlfriend even hated them. Also had Progressive 418's which were decent, as well as Works Performance which I never really liked. I'm running OEM 13.75" shocks now, hesitant to change them out since I hadn't had luck in the past.

A couple ideas of many.
 
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I have an '85 FXRS (The Moonraker) I've been riding for 35 yrs. Bought her brand new and never found another bike I wanted to have more than this one, so I've just kept her. Can't say that about the women in my life. Your biggest challenge will most likely be finding parts.
Coupla thoughts, based upon experience:
On the front end, Stock twin front brakes are superior to a single PM. The PM products are fine. I have a PM rear brake on The Moonraker now. It's fine. nothing spectacular...just fine.
Rear shocks:
I had a bad experience with Progressive 412's. Couple years ago, I went to Destination Daytona with an idea to shop for new shocks. The 412's that were on my bike a that time were less than 2 yrs old. I wound up going home with a new pair of Pro-Action shocks on the bike. LOVE'EM. Yup...they're in that $800.00 class but I find them to be a HUGE improvement over the Progressives.
I also replaced my last front motor mount with one of the SS mesh versions from Kinetic Structures.
Hope this helps.
[/QUOTE
I have an '85 FXRS (The Moonraker) I've been riding for 35 yrs. Bought her brand new and never found another bike I wanted to have more than this one, so I've just kept her. Can't say that about the women in my life. Your biggest challenge will most likely be finding parts.
Coupla thoughts, based upon experience:
On the front end, Stock twin front brakes are superior to a single PM. The PM products are fine. I have a PM rear brake on The Moonraker now. It's fine. nothing spectacular...just fine.
Rear shocks:
I had a bad experience with Progressive 412's. Couple years ago, I went to Destination Daytona with an idea to shop for new shocks. The 412's that were on my bike a that time were less than 2 yrs old. I wound up going home with a new pair of Pro-Action shocks on the bike. LOVE'EM. Yup...they're in that $800.00 class but I find them to be a HUGE improvement over the Progressives.
I also replaced my last front motor mount with one of the SS mesh versions from Kinetic Structures.
Hope this helps.
Helps a lot! Like the motor mount idea too. Running a 96 Sputhe motor and new factory mount but rough at low rpm. Will check out the Kinetic.
 

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I have an 89 FXRS I ran progressive shocks 412s they were OK not horrible but a bit firm I'm 6' 250lbs. Long story short added huge motor and had to control wheel hop. So I bit the bullet and went for a pair of ohlims with piggyback reservoir shocks 14.5" It was a leap of faith as had no prior experience with them they cost 1200. I am thoroughly impressed by the way they eat bumps so smooth and effortlessly is amazing you can adjust everything. Preload, dampening rate as well as rebound rate. I would buy again if I had the need. They are rebuildable as well. That's allot of of money no argument there. But after riding with them I am quite convinced they are well worth it. You can dial them in soft for longer rides and even though they are soft they still handle great. You can also stiffen them up for sport type riding. They really react fast and keep the tire on the ground and grabbing. When I compare the price spent to the other vast costs of parta it really isn't that bad. Last pair of shocks I'll ever need to buy. Good stuff costs... For sure.. Got mine through Motorcycle Metal call Howard. If budget allows of coarse. As far as the front I'm running progressive springs and gold valves. Love them running 3" over tubes for cornering clearance as I have three inch open belt
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I have an 89 FXRS I ran progressive shocks 412s they were OK not horrible but a bit firm I'm 6' 250lbs. Long story short added huge motor and had to control wheel hop. So I bit the bullet and went for a pair of ohlims with piggyback reservoir shocks 14.5" It was a leap of faith as had no prior experience with them they cost 1200. I am thoroughly impressed by the way they eat bumps so smooth and effortlessly is amazing you can adjust everything. Preload, dampening rate as well as rebound rate. I would buy again if I had the need. They are rebuildable as well. That's allot of of money no argument there. But after riding with them I am quite convinced they are well worth it. You can dial them in soft for longer rides and even though they are soft they still handle great. You can also stiffen them up for sport type riding. They really react fast and keep the tire on the ground and grabbing. When I compare the price spent to the other vast costs of parta it really isn't that bad. Last pair of shocks I'll ever need to buy. Good stuff costs... For sure.. Got mine through Motorcycle Metal call Howard. If budget allows of coarse. As far as the front I'm running progressive springs and gold valves. Love them running 3" over tubes for cornering clearance as I have three inch open belt
Great advice! Are your front shocks original at 3 inches over? Is 1989 35mm? Wish I could run open primary. I have 96 inch Sputhe and loosening primary bolts an issue but fixed with bigger bolts and safety wire (Loctite not enuff). Nobody makes a bolt on open primary for 1985. It has separate starter solenoid compared to 1986 and later😞. How big is your motor? Doing top end on Sputhe and mechanic thinks contamination and scoring on pistons and cylinders may require bottom end (if bearing or other damage) in which case I will buy a new motor but buttoning up for now with clean up and new rings.
 

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When I bough the bike it had a wideglide conversion done already so I have 41mm tubes when I had front shocks rebuilt I ordered 3" over length tubes installed. The springs and gold valves were done at same time. I have an S&S evo 124"
 
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